Photo credit: Armando Gallo/Retina Ltd
Parent & Child: The Tintin comic books started in Belgium in the 1920s. When did you first discover them?
Steven Spielberg: When my movie Raiders of the Lost Ark came out in 1981, a French reviewer wrote a piece relating it to the books. I'd never heard of them, so I got one and was immediately pulled in. In the sense of global adventure, I could see a kinship between Indiana Jones and Tintin.
P&C: Why did the Tintin series scream movie material to you?
Spielberg: I loved the relationship between a boy, a sea captain, and a dog. The books have a lot of imagination and plenty of humor. They also have a good message about teamwork. Tintin's adventures show that if you stick together, you can achieve your highest aspirations.
P&C: Do you think that movies like this can entice boys, who tend to be more reluctant readers, to pick up the books?
Spielberg: I hope so. Tintin did in his era what Harry Potter has done now to inspire a very large and avid readership.
P&C: You started making short films when you were 12 years old. Looking back, is there anything you wish you had known then that you know now?
Spielberg: Well, no, because I didn't know what making films was going to do to me. I picked up the camera, and I caught this virus called filmmaking, and it has been in my system ever since. My one great hope is that I stay infected with it for the rest of my life.
Elizabeth Callahan is the assistant editor for Parent & Child.